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Syria 26, Washington 11, Assad 9, Milton Freidman 9, Jon 8, U.s. 8, Obama 6, Bashar Al-assad 6, America 6, Colorado 6, Holmes 5, Freidman 5, Janice 5, Russia 4, Pentagon 4, New York 4, Jon Scott 4, Medicare 3, Rick Folbaum 3, Alan Simpson 3,
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  FOX News    Happening Now    News/Business. Jon Scott, Jenna  
   Lee. Breaking news reports. New.  

    December 6, 2012
    8:00 - 9:59am PST  

with the arrival of the vatican christmas traoerb tree. it arrived at st. peters square at sunrise. look how beautiful it is there. it will be decorated with more than 2,000 ornaments, a lighting ceremony will be held on december the 14th. i think i'm going to have my lighting ceremony on december the 14th. i don't have my tree yet, i need to get it up. it sounds like a good day. bill: get on it. we found jenna leave. it's okay. she is okay. martha: she'll be here moments away. bye-bye. jon: right no brand-new stories and breaking news. jenna: fox news confirming chemical weapons are now ready for use in syria. the military awaiting orders from president bashar al-assad to launch the deadly nerve gas on its own people. what is next for us and the rest of the community. the national hurricane center getting blasted for something it didn't do. we'll talk about that with
janice dean. plus one man running seven ultramarathons on seven continents in seven days. why? is the big question. it's all "happening now." we'll start with news from overseas, very disturbing developments out of syria today. glad you're with us, everybody, i'm jenna lee. jon: good morning, i'm jon scott. as the violence rages out of control. fox news confirms syria's military finished mixing saran gas. they are waiting for orders from bashar al-assad. only 60 days before the gas expires and needs to be destroyed. all this comes as secretary of state hillary clinton gets ready for a rare meeting with her russian counterpart on the crisis rocking syria. that could be a sign that russia might now be ready to shift its position and support stronger
u.n. action against syria. molly henneberg is live at the pentagon keeping an eye on all of these developments. why is russia so important here, molly. >> reporter: russia is one of syria's allies, in fact one of sear kwras onl syria as only allies. and that is why it is thought they may have some sway over syria and bashar al-assad. hillary clinton is in a meeting this afternoon at a security conference in dublin, ireland. they will be meeting today specifically on syria. at the same time the secretary general of the united nations says he also is pressing syria not to use chemical weapons. >> i'm just very much concerned, and i have warned that in any case if chemical weapons is used
then they will have to be put to justice and create serious consequences to those people. >> reporter: if president bashar al-assad were to leave the country it would create an immediate problem with who would take over and a secondary problem of who would control the chemical weapons. jon. jon: it is one thing to load seran gas into shells and so forth, it's quite another thing to use them. what does the pentagon say are the chances that bashar al-assad will use the gas in. >> that is the big question. they really don't know here. we know that the saran gas has been put into canisters that can be dropped from planes and they are designed to fracture, to break apart and let that dangerous next rve gas, saran gases scape. one source tells fox, we think they have it in ara sol form, have the gas in ara sol form. one fox news military analyst says it's not out of the realm of pose built that president
bashar al-assad, a desperate sad r*r could us bashar al-assad could use the chemical weapons. >> the only reason he has the weapons is to guarantee regime preservation. i think we have to assume if pushed bashar al-assad would use those weapons. we have to be prepared to preempt the use of them. >> reporter: one pentagon official tells fox that the u.s. has made it clear to syria that if bashar al-assad uses the saran gas that would be crossing a red line, but they haven't ma it clear what the consess would be. jon. jon: ominous times in syria. molly henneberg at the pentagon, thank you. jenna: more on that as that story develops. back to washington d.c. now and the back and forth over the budget crisis there taking place behind closed doors right now on capitol hill. you have negotiators from both sides trying to hammer out a deal over tax hikes and spending cuts as the clock particulars towards that fiscal cliff deadline on january 11. mike emanuel is live.
we are still getting hard lines from either side about where they stand on this. what is really happening behind the closed doors? are they closer to a dole? >> reporter: jenna you're right about a lot of tough talk in public, but behind closed doors we know the president, the speaker of the house john boehner had a phone call late yesterday, the first call they had in a week. there has not been much in the way of leaks as to what was discussed. most folks on capitol hill may suggest that no leaks means they are getting down to serious movement on finding a compromise to avert the fiscal cliff. because in public the treasury secretary was asked yesterday if the administration is prepared to go over the fiscal cliff. check this out. >> is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff. >> absolutely. we see no prospects for an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthist. remember it's only 2%. >> reporter: most people think a deal will be struck between the
president and the speaker of the house, the fact that they are talking and not leaking may be a good sign, jenna. jenna: we'll see. what role has treasury secretary timothy geithner, we just heard from him there, what role has he played in awful all o all of this. >> he's been the public spokesman and delivered the president's plan to capitol hill, which they said was not serious. you had mitch mcconnell try to bring up the geithner-obama plan for a vote. check this out. >> this the president's proposal was made in good faith our friends should be eager to vote for it, so i'm surprised the majority leader just declined the chance for them to support it with their votes. so, i guess we're left to conclude that it couldn't even pass by a bare majority of votes and that they'd rather take the country off the cliff than actually workout a good-faith agreement that reflects tough choices on both sides. >> reporter: so there you had
senator mcconnell trying to demonstrate that the president's plan didn't even have enough support from his own party. this morning on the floor you had the majority leader harry reid and senator mcconnell talk ago little football, perhaps a sign they are lightening things up and trying to move things forward. jenna: maybe. are they the only two that talk. the floor always looks empty, mike, is it just the two of them back and forth, is that what is going on? >> reporter: they come through, they take center stage and later in the day you get all kinds of things. jenna: a little football talk. never really a bad thing. thank you for the update. jon: let's continue to talk about that a little bit. we are looking at whether president obama is at risk of repeating what some critics have said is a mistake he made in which is one term. one columnist writing that mr. obama alley natured the g.o.p. with his stimulus package. he said rather than work with republicans he colluded with democratic leaders.
he goes onto write, quote, fast forward to 2012 it looks as if the white house is trying to repeat its mistakes all over again. joining us now the author of that column jonah goldberg editor at large of the national review, he is also a fox news contributor. if the white house does repeat the mistakes what do you think the net affect is? >> reporter: you know, the sounds of couple biya from your earlier report are all wonderful and hope they can get into a drum circle and be happy. the way they have dealt with this so far is to push the republicans further away, harden their positions, and to basically refuse to take yes for an answer. the republicans immediately after the election said, we are going to give on this revenue thing, we're going to have to raise revenues, the question is how are we going to do it? and the obama administration almost like a character from
"seinfeld" said we are going to do this out of spite and said we are going to have to raise the rates rather than do this loophole closing thing and all of the rest. the problem with that is that presidents get very few do officer, one ever the few that they get is right after an election they can change the tone, they can sort of start over and instead of doing that and trying to figure out how to fulfill this promise that obama has always made about being bipartisan he's decided just to sort of do the same thing he did with the stimulus, which is to try to steam roll the republicans, to crush them, to placate his base, and it has the potential to create another four years of partisan whommer and tong fighting in washington. jon: i wanted to get your reaction to what the treasury secretary had to say in that report from mike emanuel a minute ago. he was asked flat out is the white house ready to go over the fiscal cliff and boom he says, absolutely, as if that is a good thing. i mean there are defense contractors who are going to be laying off workers, there are
all kinds of negative ramifications to all of this. but the white house apparently is ready to take the jump. >> well, they are certainly ready to say it. the republicans have a weaker hand than i thought they would originally have about a couple months ago, but the idea that president obama wants to start his second term by plunging the country into a recession, a huge sell off in the stock market, and by being perceived as generally sort of willing to play chicken with the economy doesn't sound like a brilliant political move to me. jon: you think that's all talk? >> i think it's a game of chicken, i really do. i think that the republicans would probably get a lot of blame in the beginning, and that's maybe what they are thinking of and they are trying to scare the republicans, but over the long term there is just no way this administration wants to go overt fisca over the fiscal cliff. whether they are willing to turn
the wheel last it's possible, but the idea that they are vying with the idea strikes me as preposterous. jon: you write that the news media is essentially biased against republicans and any conservative idea that wins here is not going to gain a lot of favor, so is it a case in which republicans are sort ever dammed if they do, and dammed if they don't? >> that's sort of been the theme of the last four years is that republicans basically can't win. part of what i proposed in that column was basically the shouldl back position of basically adopting or proposing the bowl simpson plan bowles-simpson plan, where they proposed closing loopholes and lowering tax rates, which is the republican position, and in part just to simply see how can "the new york times" or "the washington post" denounce the republicans for picking these short of pristine examples, the poster child of bipartisan
centrist policymaking that we've had in the last four years and it would butt a lot of pressure on obama. that is part of the problem the republicans have, they are working in a climate, whatever they propose, the idea is that what they are proposing is ridiculous and extreme gets a lot more oxygen than i think it deserves. jon: jonah goldberg who writes for usa today, thank you. jenna: they disappeared five months ago. now what could be a tragic development in the search for these missing cousins. we'll tell but that. plus, we turn back to the economy. milt tone freidman was a nobel peace prize winning economist, world famous. in light of the fiscal cliff hanger we are asking, what would milton do? the answer would surprise you. it's next. hmm, it says here that cheerios helps lower cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet. that's true. ...but you still have to go to the gym. ♪ the one and only, cheerios
jon: right now, new information on crime stories we are watching. authorities in iowa working to identify remains discovered in woods in evans dale yesterday.
authorities believe they are the bodies of two young cousins, an 11-year-old and a 9-year-old. those two little girls you probably remember vanished while riding their bikes five months ago. a manhunt on hawaii's big island. authorities are looking for two inmates who overpowered a guard and escaped from a correctional center. the two men are serving time for attempted murder and burglary. the family of a missing new york teenager releases an age-processed photo in hopes of getting a break in the case. 17-year-old brittany drexel vanished while on vacation with friends in myrtle beach, south carolina three years ago. jenna: we've been talking about the fiscal cliff and the clock is ticking down until the deadline for that amid all the efforts to hammer out a deal on capitol hill. while some warn of the damagers going over a cliff the man known as one of the greatest 20th century advocates for a free market economy may have had a different take. his name was milton freidman,
and his greatest concern was really just government, and too much of it. here he is in a clip from the 2006 documentary "1%." >> in the end we'd end up worse off. it would do harm not good. people don't pay those high taxes, they find ways of getting around it. you're never going to be able to stop them from finding ways to get around it. jenna: talking a little bit about taxes there. my next guest has written extensively about milton freidman. we wanted to ask him, what would milton do, one of the greatest economists. nobel peace prize winning economist. we have the author of the inch dense pensable milton freidman. what would he think about all of this. >> great to be with you. i'm sure if milton freidman were here today, he'd say go over the fiscal cliff. jenna: straight over it? don't even press on the brakes. >> it's always worthwhile to
meet and have negotiations. at the end ever the day he favored the least government spending possible. i believe he would have said that is a course that isn't going to be accomplished by raising taxes, rather by raising taxes that will provide funding for more government spending. freidman definitely would have been in favor of the course that will result in the least government spending. jenna: milton freidman served as an economic adviser for ronald reagan during the reagan administration. i'm curious what he would think of either side's position right now. do you think he would take either side? >> i think he would definitely be on the side of the republicans in congress who feel that the tax inc increases should not go forward and there should be the maximum spending cuts possible. i think that is not just true for the affect on the deficit, but because the deficit is being monatized at this point in time through quantitative easing it can result in great h greater
inflation down the road. he would have thought this is not a time to raise taxes, this is a time to cut government spending. we don't want to have a larger government deficit and this is the course that would lead to the greatest prosperity in the economy. he would not have agreed that if we go over the fiscal cliff that that would have a negative impact on the economy, he would say rather that by bringing the deficit down, by having the prospect of lower inflation in the future, that will be good for interest rates and that would be good for the economy in the coming years. jenna: what would he say to those american citizens, though, that say, listen, over the fiscal cliff, i'm afraid of that, i don't even want to entertain the possibilities of what that would look like. >> i think when it comes to issues such as the extension of unemployment benefits, social security, medicare, freidman would have argued that it's the better course to cut spending in those areas now rather than defer indefinitely on making real spending cuts. the current agreement was
hammered out in august of 2011. what typically happens is that spending cuts are promised in the future, but they never materialize, the taxes are raised anyway. that is exactly what would happen under this circumstance, taxes would be raised, spending cuts would be promised in the future but when that deadline is reached we won't make the spending cuts. so at this point in time what is really being talked about is strictly a tax increase and freidman would have opposed that. jenna: i don't need to tell you that, there's certainly been critics of milton freidman out there. if you take the criticism together this is what they say. there is a time and police for government, there is a time and place where government can serve the economy, and that was opposed to what milton freidman said, but in general, you know, what do you think he would make of that question today, being the government is writ is, is the size that it is. what appropriate role was government have in the economy at all? >> sure, freidman did not question that there is an
appropriate role for government in society, but in general he thought that the less government the better, the lower taxes the better, the less spending the better, the less regulation the better, and a stable monetary policy is the best way forward. so those were the reforms for government that he would have advocated. those were the reforms for government that he advocated throughout his career. jenna: we were seeing him in that interview in 2006 just before he passed away. do you see anybody that is like him today, that is a thinker the way that milton freidman was that may have an impact right now on some of our economic policies. >> gosh, having studied milton freidman for many years i would say he's truly one of a kind and there was only one -- he truly was indispensable and there was really no one else like him. i think there are many individuals who are doing good work but there was only one milton freidman. jenna: he certainly had a personality. shortly after he financed eurb finished that interview in his
office he kicked him out and said we are not going to talk any more about this. thank you for your time. jon: we have a department of housing and urban development and it says there are concerns out there of another housing bubble, this as the secretary tries to explain why they are roughly $1 trillion in the hole at hud, who is taking the blame? what does it mean for our economy? coming up.
jenna: an update on a story we've than following you here on hapbz. the f.b.i. releasing brand-new audio recordings of of serial killer israel keys hoping it will lead to more information about his possible victims. rick folbaum with the latest on all of this. >> reporter: we told you about the fbi's timeline on keys, how
they believe he wandered the country looking for people to kill, how he buried casches of weapon. some he wanted to use for future killings. he used a debit card belonging to one of his victims, that's who i was caught. investigators spoke to him for nine hours and are releasing a small part of those interrogations. >> there is no one who knows me or who has ever known me who knows anything about me really. they know they are going to tell you something that does not line up with anything i tell you, because i'm two different people basically. the only person who knows about what i'm telling you, the kind of things i'm telling you is me. >> how long have you been two different people? [laughter] >> a longtime. 14 years. >> reporter: police believe israel keys began his murder spree after getting out of the military in 2000 e. worked as a
carpenter to pay for his horrific crimes. he's confessed to willing more than eight people. investigators were set to interview again this week, jenna. as we told you yesterday he was found dead in his jail cell early sunday morning, an apparent suicide. back to you. jenna: we'll see if they get more information. rick, thank you. jon: new concerns the u.s. could be on the verge of another housing bubble. nearly $1 trillion in the red the secretary of housing and urban development is appearing before a congressional committee at this hour. doug mcelway live from washington, i guess we should point out that it's not the secretary himself who is a trillion in the red, it's the agency. who is getting the blame for this. doug. >> reporter: the federal housing authority, which is a part of hud, jon. it simply failed to manage its money. to understand why this is so dangerous you have to know what the fha does. it does not provide mortgages directly, it insures mortgages. but it also allows borrowers to
qualify for mortgages with putting only minuscule amounts down on the purchase of a home as little as 3.5% on the home's value. compare that too private lenders which require 20% of a home's value. without putting down large down payments borrowers are at real risk. not only are they not building up equity, any economic downturn in the housing market can make their homes worth less than what they owe and could lead to the bursting of a second housing bulb. the fha losses were uncovered by a recent audit and have sent shock waves through the authority. >> even "the washington post," which is not exactly a right-wing think tank said recently, quote, right now the critics are starting to look pretty presentation. affordable possession of one's own home is the american dream. government support for excessive borrowing has turned into a national nightmare, close
quote. >> reporter: hud's secretary shaun donovan said to the senate banking committee that the agency is taking measures to stem its losses. >> we take, and i take these findings extremely seriously. as stewards of taxpayer dollars we have since the start of this administration made it a priority to strengthen the fund, and we are continuing to take aggressive action to return the fund to fiscal health. >> reporter: a scholar at the american enterprise institute says fha continues to make loans that are very high risked and they are priced at irrational rates, jon. jon: that doesn't sound good. do they have any solutions they are looking at. >> reporter: the house passed a bill which pro fha with tools that congress says it needs to protect its single-family insurance fund from becoming insolvent. in all likelihood some sort of infusion of taxpayer money will be required and tighter lending standards might also be under consideration. jon. jon: let's hope they get
something done to fix it. doug mcelway in washington, thanks. jenna: as the bashar al-assad regime moves closer to using chemical weapons, what is the international community doing? the national hurricane center is changing its storm warning system really in the wake of super storm sandy. why? janice dean is live with this very interesting back story just ahead. hey, jd. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪
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[gunfire] jon: new international fallout from the escalating crisis in syria. nato and its allies now detailing plans to defend the syria-turkey border. the crisis threatens to spill over into neighboring nations as president assad prepares chemical weapons that he might use against his own people. connor powell live from jerusalem with more. conor? >> reporter: jon, all eyes are on president bashar assad and syrian military as a senior official tells fox news that the military mixed prepared and begun loading sarin gas in bombs to be used in the deadly, deadly conflict in syria. this comes as the fighting is moving closer and closer to the syrian government strong hold in and around damascus. analysts say the death toll
if sarin gas was used would be much greater than what we're seen in syria. keep in mind 40,000 people have died in the two year-long war. sarin gas is one of the most deadly chemical weapons. it has a shelf life of 60 days. now that it mixed and prepared it must be used or destroyed. once somebody comes in contact with it acts very, very quickly only matter of minutes rand hours do people have to live without some type of antidote. the fear a desperate assad will give orders to use it. this comes reportedly assad is beginning to seek asylum in latin america. the reports are he reached out to cuba, ecuador and venezuela to try to find a place to live after this war. we're also hearing that several arab countries in the middle east have also begun offering asylum to president assad as a way to try to end this. a spokesman for the assad regime says president assad will never leave syria nor will he ever use chemical weapons. they deny even having them.
intelligence reports suggests otherwise. this bloody conflict, jon, seems to be entering a new phase where we don't really know what will happen. jon: ominous developments there. conor powell, thank you. jenna: well, it was a storm for the record books. superstorm sandy devastating parts of the east coast. it may have been just a category 1 hurricane, just a category 1 but remember, remember this warning from our very own janice dean? >> a million people could be affected by this storm. so people like, oh, it is a northeast storm. only a category 1. what is the big deal? no, this is an impressive storm. this is not just a tropical system as jenna mentioned. we have basically a hurricane inside a giant nor'easter for the record books. the lowest pressure on record at this latitude. so that is impressive. what pressure means, the lower it goes, the stronger the storm that we are dealing with. jenna: if you remember this but at that time when janice
was giving us that forecast it was going back and forth. is it a hurricane, is it not a hurricane, is it a hurricane? now the national hurricane center is taking a lot of heat because it didn't issue hurricane watches and warnings. the center proposed changes to criteria for storm warnings for everybody because of this one storm on the east coast. what does it all mean really? janice dean is here. hopefully you explain it to us, jd. what was going on behind the scenes whether this storm was a hurricane, wasn't, what was going on? >> the bottom line this was a storm that impacted millions of people with 90 mile-per-hour winds once it made landfall. it had a storm surge of 10 feet and we had 20 foot waves in new york harbor. okay? what was happening was behind the seechbs the national hurricane center said because the storm is transitioning it is not a full tropical storm, remember we were talking about the nor'easter with the hurricane inside of it? it was making a transition to a warm core low to a cold core low.
it was interacting with a cold canadian storm and becoming that superstorm. very rare meteorological event. this is historic. we never had something like this making landfall. the national hurricane center was saying scientifically it is not a hurricane so we can't in good faith issue hurricane watches and warnings. jenna: let me stop you there because you're one weather forecaster, the best weather forecaster by the way in the entire country. i'm a little biased let's say that. there are thousands of weather forecasters up and along the east coast getting messages every half an hour, an hour, from the national hurricane center and what were they getting in their newsroom and how did that impact their telling much the story? >> what happened was the national hurricane center decided once the storm moved north of north carolina it was up to the local offices across the northeast to really take over with the storm advisories and because they were saying it was going to be a transitioning storm, a cold transitioning in a cold core low it was up to the local forecasters to
issue their own warnings. but they couldn't issue hurricane watches and warnings. jenna: why not? >> because the national hurricane center are only ones that can issue hurricane watches and warnings. the northeast was issuing gail warnings, flood warnings something you typically see with a nor'easter. this was unprecedented. they did that as the storm was making landfall with 90 mile-per-hour winds and 10-foot storm surge we were jumping up and down why aren't you saying there needs to be hurricane watches an warnings? from my perspective, from a lot of meteorologists perspective maybe people would have heeded more warning. yeah, when you mentally think to yourself a hurricane watch, hurricane warning, a hurricane is coming. jenna: what is the change now? what changed?. >> what they're thinking about doing, they haven't implemented this yet, they're saying that the national hurricane center perhaps now can incorporate not only tropical storms but transitioning storms and post-tropical storms. storms making that
transition to a nor'easter type storm. so they will still be able to issue hurricane watches and warnings even if scientifically it's not a hurricane. jenna, i think mixed messages might been the problem here with mayor bloomberg. two days before this storm hit, two days, it was still technically a hurricane, he was saying it will not be that bad. it will not be as bad as irene. i think we have a clip from mayor bloomberg. >> we are not ordering evacuations as of this time for any parts of the city. we're making that decision based on the nature of this storm. although we're expecting a large surge of water, it is not expected to be a tropical storm or hurricane-type surge. with this storm we'll likely see a slow pile-up of water rather than a sudden surge which is what you would expect from a hurricane and which we saw with irene 14 months ago. so it will be less dangerous but make no mistake about it, there will be a lot of water and low-lying areas will
experience flooding. jon:. jenna: what was he supposed to do there? if national hurricane center wasn't saying it was hurricane what was he going to do. >> meteorologists were pulling our hair out. we were saying for a week this was epic storm. i don't know what information he was going with. the fact there were no hurricane watches and warnings may have played into him downplaying it. later on he started to say this is serious situation. that was two days before the storm hit. we were saying a week before this would be a big deal. jenna: interesting to see how one event may change the entire system. we'll continue to watch that, because it affects all storms where they are in the country. >> we learn from our mistakes the hard way at some point. jenna: appreciate it. jon: bloomberg, the guy set up the information terminals? he can't have a hotline to janice dean's place? come on, get him a red phone. >> i'm in. do it. let's do it. jon: take the 3:00 a.m. phone calls from the mayor of new york. we are awaiting comments from the white house this morning. press secretary jay carney taking the podium for his
daily briefing. we'll bring you the latest out of that briefing. talking fiscal cliff we think. that's next.
>> i --. >> [inaudible]. >> i did not understand his statement in the way you characterized it. i think the way i heard it and way i think it was not as a threat we'll go over if they don't, it was a prediction if there is no agreement, then, the fiscal cliff has to be dealt with. but i didn't see it as if they don't do this we do that. i saw it as a statement of fact. it is not a threat. it is a prediction. if there is no agreement, go over the cliff. let's hope we can have an agreement. jon: those remarks just into our fox newsroom from house minority leader nancy pelosi moments ago saying republicans are avoiding the conversation on the fiscal
cliff. meantime we're awaiting new reaction from white house press secretary jay carney. there is a live look at the podium in the west wing. you can see it is empty right now. jay carney should be stepping up to the microphone momentarily and we expect the topic a is going to be the fiscal cliff and the white house position on it. let's talk about it with angela mcglowan, fox news political analyst. you have been in washington. >> for a very long time. jon: i'm not going to say that. you're way too young to have been there a long time but you know how these things work. >> yes. jon: is this all political posturing? is there stuff really going on behind the scenes that we don't know about or hear about? >> this is political theater at its best. anytime both sides offer a plan that's when the negotiating process starts. the optimist here. i do believe we will come to a deal, jon. i think you will see a lot more political posturing but you are having policy wonks behind the scenes crunching the numbers so they can work
out a deal. jon: well the president has said there has to be higher taxes on the top 2%. >> yeah. jon: republicans essentially said we'll give you higher taxes but do it by reforming, closing loopholes and not raising rates. >> right. basically the republicans came up with what obama said in 2011. he wanted, there was discussion dealing with $1.2 trillion and he said we don't have to increase tax rates. we can close loopholes. we can cap deductions. that is what the republicans are offering. but right now defend again i think democrats are bent on increasing taxes and if woe don't avert the fiscal cliff, i believe republicans will take the hit politically. jon: the president in september of 2011 said, you know, in his principles for tax reform, lower tax rates, the tax system should be simplified and work for all americans with lower individual and corporate rates and fewer brackets. now it sounds like exactly
what the republican side has offered here? >> it is. what they're offering but basically to reach a comprehensive deal so we can put this debt on a downward turn, and actually create a stronger economy. both sides, the democrats and republicans are going to have to give a little bit now. republicans might have to give in to some type of tax increase but president obama will have to come up with more entitlement cuts. jon: jenna had a great segment earlier about milton friedman and what would he do in this situation. >> yes. jon: he said or he was of the opinion if you give the government more money in any form they will figure out a way to spend it. >> senator rubio put it best. he said to create a successful economy, to create successful america we needless government, limited government. instead of making richer people poorer, make poor people richer. instead of new taxes create new taxpayers.
we give money to the american people. they know best how to spend their money than big brother government. jon: are you optimist or pessimist when it comes to the question of whether we go over the fiscal cliff? >> i think president obama loves this country and is a patriot and boehner is a patriot and i believe they will work out a deal. if they don't make a deal, 28 million americans will pay alternative minimum tax and families will have their taxes raised $2,000 more and give more in this bad economy. washington, d.c. insider i am the optimist they will work out a deal. jon: she is going with the glass half full approach. i like that. angela mcglowan. >> thank you, jon. jenna: epic journey, not the fiscal cliff, that is epic journey. this epic journey is breaking the boundaries of human endurance. running seven ultramarathons on seven continents in seven days? why did he do it? turns out he was doing good
at the same time he was running. we'll speak to him live about his ad venture next. w way. it's called bankamerideals, from bank of america. i choose the cash back deals in my mobile or online banking. i just use my bank of america debit or credit card when i pay. and i get as much as 15% cash back -- put into my account. this is cash back on top of other rewards i already get. best of all -- it's free. happy holidays. [ male announcer ] introducing bankamerideals, free for online banking customers. sign in to your online banking to choose your deals today.
year ahead a little inspiration for the year ahead. half a million americans ran marathons. just over 50,000 completed ultramarathons. for some perspective that is 2% of the u.s. population doing regular marathons and .02% of us that do ultramarathons. it is a pretty exclusive club. and one man's story caught our eye. we thought it was worth telling you about this today. dr. andrew murray ran seven ultramarathons on seven continents. there he is up the stairs in seven days. dr. andrew murray joins us
live on the phone with the answer to the big question, doctor, why did you do this? >> it was a big personal challenge. something i wanted to see iconic and spectacular places all within the two weeks vacation i had. seeing the world in fast forward. seeing mountains of antarctica and south america and america, history of what of the great pyramids and finishing in the opera house. it was a fantastic journey. i loved it. jenna: wow, you squeezed it all in during a vacation. you have a personal mission about health and getting people fiscally active. they don't have to run marathons but what would you like people to do. >> i work for the scottish government. this is single best thing you can do for your health. 9% of the world's population died to lack of exercise. do 30 minutes walking five days a week or any form of
exercise that is 0% off an early death. i'm from scotland so i like a bargain. jenna: how is it possible? how did you eat and sleep and jump on these planes? how did you do this? >> there was a lot of careful planning along with a fair bit of actual physical --. but the most difficult part was not the running, it was logistics. getting out of antarctica, making sure flights went and enough food to feed a 600 kilogram crocodile and getting sleep along the way. i managed to get it done and -- [inaudible] jenna: eating as much as a crocodile as you said. what was the biggest challenge of them all? >> most difficult place was egypt because i arrived in the middle confident night. i knew my target was to arrive at great pyramids at dawn to see the sunrise over the spectacular ancient monuments. before i had to go through completely dark and conditions on the street was
not great and about 30 degrees. i previously run ultramarathon prior. i was pretty tired at that time. i think that was a low point but a real high point when i got to the pyramids as well. jenna: we're seeing some of the footage you have, also running in london. jon had a question specifically how you made it through all of that. jon: i'm not sure that sounds like a vacation. squeezed it in the two weeks vacation, seven ultramarathons? >> yes, absolutely. the first week of the vacation was spent in antarctica as a warm-up which seems like a strange place to have a warm-up. -- i completed in and -- immediately following that. it was nice to arrive in sydney. have a beer and good sleep after that. jenna: that sounds like pretty good reward. you have done this. what is next, doc? >> i suppose working out and getting more people more active more often and spending quality time with the wife -- [inaudible]
jenna: dr. murray, great to talk to you. so everybody knows, dr. murray is not alone in his life of adventure. his wife ran five marathons in five days as well. equal opportunity and no excuses. jon scott, marathon, 2013. jon: okay. jenna: dr. murray thank you very much. we'll be back with more "happening now." our next hour starts at noon.
>> hi, everybody. brand new hour straight ahead for you here on "happening now" including a possible new phase in the fighting in syria where fox news is reporting that the syrian government is preparing to use chemical weapons against its own people. what would that mean? what would the u.s. response be? we'll have a live report straight ahead. also james homes, the man charged in the colorado movie theater massacre, newly-released e-mails just out showing what the university of colorado new about holmes mental state while he was a grad student
there. the hunt is on even though these folks are protesting it. the bear hunt in new jersey happens every year and so does the controversy. a live report straight ahead as the second hour of "happening now" starts right now. jenna: we start off with the this breaking news. syria now building bombs filled with the deadly nerve gas sarin and there's growing fear the regime is ready to use them. we have a brand new hour getting underway here on "happening now." i'm jenna lee. jon: i'm jon scott. it is a frightening stereo. the -- scenario. the bombs are ready waiting for orders to use weapons of mass destructions on the population of his own country. the u.s. and its allies are considering military options to secure syria's stockpile of chemical and biological weapons. in 1988 you might recall saddam hussein used sarin and mustard gas on the kurds in northern iraq, killing as many as 5000 people, leaving
65,000 seriously injured. so exactly what is sarin gas? it is one of the world's most dangerous chemical weapons, outlawed by the united nations in 1993 and classified as a weapon of mass destruction. it is a nerve agent, odorless, tasteless and colorless. it kills by paralyzing the muscles around the lungs and causing suffocation. one drop can kill a person in just a few minutes. it is 500 times more toxic than cyanide. the fear is that syria's president assad might be desperate enough to use sarin in a bid to retain power or lose control of the chemical weapons to militants. chief washington correspondent james rosen live at the state department with more. james? >> reporter: jon, good afternoon. u.s. officials tell fox news they believe syrian technicians have placed the sarin gas in breakable canisters a kind of aerosol form that can be dropped from planes and helicopters. the syrian government's military position meantime appears to continue to worsen. a bomb outside the syrian
arab red crescent office in the capital of damascus killed at least one person while rebel forces boasted encircling an airbase just outside the city center. sources tell fox news the sarin gas once mixed is good for 60 days before it must be destroyed. a senior diplomat serving under president bashar al-assad said the regime if it possessed such stockpiles would not use them because we quote, can't possibly commit suicide. america's top diplomat hopes assad's exit can be negotiated by arab nations. >> that will require the assad regime making the decision to participate in a political transition, ending the violence against its own people and we hope that they do so because we believe, as you know, that their fall is inevitable. it is just a question of how many, how many people will die until that day occurs.
>> reporter: secretary clinton was meeting in dublin, ireland today, with russia's foreign minister, sergey lavrov. it brought sign that russian support for the assad regime may be ebbing. senior ally of president vladmir putin was quoted saying we share and do share the opinion that the existing government in syria should carry out its functions but time has shown that this task is beyond its strength. >> the messages i conveyed from president assad to the leaders of cuba, to the leaders of nicaragua, ecuador and venezuela are related to bilateral cooperation and to our allies and tell them what's happening in syria. i assure you 100% and the president assad will never ever leave his country, syria. >> reporter: but western diplomats will be gathering in morocco next we can trying to gameplan out how to stand up a new government in syria should the assad regime fall swiftly.
jon. jon: james rosen joining us from the state department today. james, thank you. jenna: from washington, d.c. we take you now to cairo and an easy quiet in egypt's capital today after days of most violent protests since the nation's revolution. overnight opponents of president morsi there clashing with his supporters. the street battles according to reports leaving at least seven people dead, hundreds injured. now the government is panning protests near the presidential palace with troops and tanks and forcing the decree there. david lee miller is watching all this live in jerusalem with more. david lee? >> reporter: jenna we are awaiting what might be an address by the egyptian president mohammed morsi. it is expected to take place at any time. we're told that during the day he met with the army chief as well as his ministers to try to come up with some way to stablize the country. he was in the presidential palace earlier in the day. this despite the fact that there was some very violent
clashes in the last 24 hours just outside that palace. take a look at the tape and you can see what took place just a few hours ago. on one side supporters of th president morsi. on the other secular groups say they oppose the islamist agenda. during the clashes firebombs and rocks were thrown. there was also gunfire. as you mentioned at least seven dead and at least 600 injured. the republican guard placed tanks and armored vehicles outside the presidential palace this morning and the commander of the guard which is primarily tasked with protecting the presidential compound tried to assure egyptians in this conflict it is not going to take sides. in the last few hours the guard ordered rival protesters to leave the presidential palace. morsi supporters have withdrawn and the opposition has withdrawn to some extent. they say they will be more protests according to the opposition before any dialogue takes place. morsi must revoke the
extraordinary powers he gave himself and he also must withdraw the upcoming vote on a referendum for a new constitution. so at this hour there still what looks like hundreds possibly thousands in tahrir square also massing. as you said moments ago there is quiet but that quiet can be broken at any moment as both sides still maintain that they are not going to drop their agenda. the opposition opposing the islamists, the islamists saying that the vote on the constitution, new constitution must take place december 15th. again we're waiting for the egyptian president to issue some type of a statement soon. we expect he is going to try and do whatever he can with some type of rhetoric to try and cool things down. jenna? jenna: so many dynamics at play. david lee, thank you very much. jon: the latest on the frantic search-and-rescue operation right now. hundreds are dead, hundreds more missing and those numbers likely to rise in
the aftermath of a monstrous disaster. plus you're sneezing like crazy, you're all stuffed up. a winter cold, right? not so fast. could be winter allergies. we'll tell you how to tell the difference and what you might do about it. twins. i didn't see them coming.
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jon: right now senate democratic leaders speaking to reporters about the looming fiscal cliff. both sides refusing to budge on the big issue of taxes. republican leaders in the house blaming president obama for the lack of action. they're calling on him to initiate face-to-face negotiations. did we say a deal has to be made in the next 25 days. house members are out of town for a long weekend break. fox business network's rich edson is live from washington. so are we seeing any movement in these talks at all, rich? >> some, jon. a house aide says president
obama and house speaker john boehner spoke on the phone yesterday afternoon. that is their first conversation in a week and since republicans offered $800 billion in new tax revenue and more than a trillion dollars in spending cuts. aides refuse to say if the president and speaker are now closer to a deal. for both sides a little more campaigning. president obama heads to northern virginia this afternoon. the white house says he will meet with a middle class family to press congress to protect those making less than $250,000 a year from tax increases and raise rates on those making more. house republicans return to their congressional districts. they will meet with small business owners to underscore how they say tax rate increases will hit those business, jon. jon: are they still hung up on taxes? is that the big sticking point? >> yes. taxes are the key to this debate. republicans say they will increase tax revenue through cutting tax deductions. democrats say tax rates have to increase for families earning more than $250,000 a
year. they're demanding republicans pass their tax plan. >> neither president obama nor democrats in cop guess have ever been ambiguous about our proposal to provide economic security for 98% of the american families and 97% of the small businesses while asking the wealthiest 2% to contribute just a little more to stop this run away debt. >> what the president is really interested in as we learned just yesterday is getting as much taxpayer money as he can first by raising taxes on small businesses that he believes are making too much money. and then on everybody else. >> reporter: even if they resolve taxes there are still significant differences over spending, cuts to entitlements and raising the debt ceiling. jon? jon: and 25 days to get it done. >> reporter: right. jon: all right, rich edson, keep an eye on it for us. thank you. >> reporter: thanks, jon. jenna: desperate rescue and recovery underway in the philippines. a historic typhoon hammering
that country killing at least 370 people. another 400 are missing. this story is still very much developing right now. families are searching for lost loved ones and scanning walls of pictures showing the dead as well as the missing. david piper joining us live by phone from nearby bangkok, thailand. david? >> reporter: hi, jeanne that. -- jenna. rescue teams are racing against time to find survivors from this disaster in the southern philippines. the typhoon boha swept across mindanoa. nearly 400 people are dead as you said but nearly 400 are remain missing. in eastern mindanoao where 400 people died. many killed by flash floods hit emergency shelters. the government warned the area before the typhoon struck. there seemed to be few places to go and those that did proved to be death traps. tens of thousands of people
were moved to shelters ahead of the typhoon but in one town the shelters themselves were swept away by the flash floods. the town was hardest hit, 90% of the buildings were destroyed. according to philippines authorities at least 85 people died there. many parts of the town are buried under mud, fallen trees and rubble. residents of the fun it are suffering because of limited food and shelter. u.n. said it could have been much worse if they didn't have improved early warning system as a typhoon in the same place last year killed 1300 people. philippine president aquino says more needs to be do on to save people in future disasters. the u.s. offered disaster release assistance and there are military forces in the area and could be on the way to help them. back to you, jenna. jenna: disturbing images out of the philippines. david, thank you. jon: new information on an accident at a water tower in
philadelphia. rick folbaum with the latest on that. it is called the largest territory controlled by islamic extremists in world. where it is and what the u.s. is doing now to combat this growing threat. that update coming up next
jon: some new information now on a tragic accident in which a platform gave way sending workers plummeting into an empty water tank. rick folbaum is live with more on that. rick? >> reporter: viewers might remember, we covered this live yesterday as it was happening. an accident at this water tower outside of philly. we know more about what happened. we know one man was killed, another was hurt. the victims were working on the tower. they were there to clean it up when a scaffolding they were on gave way. the man who died fell deep into the well of this tower
when his equipment apparently malfunctioned. another worker was totally fine. and a third guy was literally left hanging. hear is the police chief. >> he was up right the whole time which actually put us at good working safety position. >> he was talking to us from the onset. that is why this was not immediately rushed operation. we took our time and put all the safety, as much safety into the system as we could. >> reporter: excuse me. that was the fire chief. the rescue team took three hours to get injured man down. he was taken to a hospital of the he should be okay the company that these men were working for has been fined in the past, jon for safety violations. back to you. jon: rick, thanks very much. in our newsroom. jenna: right now the pentagon is planning to support a military operation in africa targeting extremists linked to al qaeda. a force led by african nations are prepared to launch an offensive in northern mali. why are they doing that?
this region quickly become over the last year a magnet for islamic extremists. the u.s. would provide training equipment, transportation. a military operation of this type could begin early next year. we're only weeks away from the beginning of the year. give you context what we're talking about. extremist taken control of an area roughly the size of texas in northern mali. we have the director of the african program at the atlantic council. we talked about mali a little bit before. let's get more specific. why does mali matter so much? >> well, jenna, it matters for several reasons. as you mentioned this al qaeda affiliate has taken over the large territory. it is attracting foreign fighters from as away islamists from sudan, separatists from morocco and other places and these are not just, you know, run-of-the-mill extremists. they're wealthy extremists because of kidnapping for ransom over the last decade.
they have piled up millions of dollars which they have spent acquiring part of the arsenal that muammar qaddafi left behind in libya. they're well-armed and dug in and literally several hours flight away from europe. jenna: why would we get involved there in northern mali and not get involved in other spots like syria for example, or in places like yemen where we hear there is a hotbed for terrorists at well? >> well i think part of the reason is that mali for many years a poster child of democracy and alleged stability in this region. it's a very crucial region of the just to the south of it is sub-saharan after can where we derive a great deal of our energy imports. places like nigeria and other places are very sensitive. just to the north this is libya which is still very, very unsettled. algeria which is yet to face the arab spring and reform. and north africa and egypt.
this is a very critical region on the boarders of several areas that are very sensitive right now. jenna: what are the islamists doing in that area right now? >> well they're imposing their harsh brand of rule. they have destroyed a number of world heritage sites. islamic monuments ironically enough. they're imposing brutal punishments upon the people. more importantly from the security side they're digging themselves in and threatening neighboring states, some of which are already very fragile. jenna: what kind of threat does this specific group pose us here at home? >> well it poses the threat, al qaeda in the islamic maghreb, the al qaeda affiliate sort of spearheading all this has been linked to the attacks by some on the consulate in benghazi. it was involved in attacks and planned attacks in europe. a lot of people forget they tried, actually in the 1990s to fly a plane in the eiffel
tower much like what happened in new york on 9/11. so it's a very, virulent group that certainly threatens us and our allies. jenna: your expertise on this, peter, what do you think about our military intervention? we'll explain what that means in a moment. what do you think about us getting involved here? is this a good decision now with the tiling? what your thoughts? >> we need to recognize the threat and we need to prepare to do something but we need to really prepare the terrain. i'm very concerned that we're rushing into something that's very half-baked. the african force that is talked about is a little over 3300 men. which is a laughable amount when you're talking about an area the size of texas. it is not a serious force. so they need our help. they need some training but they're not adequate. so until there's really commitment to put a force in there, that can actually do something, we run the risk of jumping into something
and then we'll have to bail it out somehow. jenna: great to have you as always, peter. nice to have your expertise. thank you very much. >> thank you, jenna. jenna: look forward to having you back. we were showing video out of mali. it is very difficult to get information out of there now because of the control of these islam i'ves in that part of after can. for context in the last five years the united states sent military planners abroad. last month to jordan where they offered assistance to turkey. this was to help prepare for the humanitarian crisis and possible military spillover because of violence in syria. last year the president, you might remember this, sent 100 military advisors to central africa to help the military fight the resistance army and is led by brutal joseph koni. that group is responsible for thousands of kidnapping and rapes and murders in africa. in 2007, president bush sent planners and weapons into
ethiopia. shortly before the united states went into somalia to fight terrorist groups there we'll keep an eye on what is happening in somalia now. jon: new insight in the colorado murder massacre, e-mails offer thousands of glimpses into suspect james holmes personal life in days and weeks before that massacre. plus medical insight after royal mom to be kate middleton ends up in the hospital with an acute case of morning sickness. the doctor is in coming up. [ male announcer ] research suggests cell health plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day men's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+.
jon: some new information now about the aurora theater massacre. the university of colorado releases thousands of e-mails pertaining to the suspect. the school releasing e-mails and other documents about james holmes while he was a graduate student there. holmes, as you know, is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others in july. alicia acuna with a look at a that live from denver now. >> reporter: hi, jon. these are e-mails that were sent to and from james holmes' e-mail account, so some of them are mass e-mails sent to all students, some that begin in the very early hours of july 20th after the shooting, and you really see things begin to unfold here in those really early hours when they send out, first, a warning of the shooting happening at the aurora theater, then the news surfaces that the suspect is a former grad student with the neuroscience program at the university of colorado. eventually, someone with the
program sends an e-mail letting students know therapists will be available and warning if they are approached by the media to refer all calls to a spokeswoman. the e-mail ends with a request. in the meantime, i requesting -- and this person skipped a word there -- that you, please, not post anything on facebook, twitter, etc. holmes has two hearings scheduled next week for monday and thursday, but in january is when a big turn in this case happens. that's when holmes faces the newly-elected district attorney, george brockler, he's the man who decides whether to pursue the death penalty. he said during the election he favors capital punishment, but when it comes to any specific case, brockler says this. >> as someone who's been elected to take over this office and is ultimately going to have that legal and i'd say moral responsibility to make the appropriate decision in seeking justice in this case, it would be inappropriate entirely to take a stab at what may or may not be the right outcome. >> reporter: now, holmes has yet to even enter a plea.
that will happen at a preliminary hearing which will happen in january. also, jon, we have learned -- we learned this just yesterday -- that the theater will reopen to the public on january 17th. jon? jon: wow. alicia acuna, thank you. jenna: turn to some health news. a mr. president duchess of cambridge resting now at kensington palace after being treated at the hospital. we're going to see her exit in just a moment. she was being treated for a severe form of morning sickness. we know you've heard a lot about that, but we wanted to talk about the road ahead as well as a few other health stories with an attending physician at winthrop university hospital, also british, so we thought that would make it even more appropriate, doctor. so what's ahead for kate now? >> well, she's very much going to be in the eyes of the media all over the world, so i'm sure that she'll be glad when this period of morning sickness passes. i mean, obviously, morning sickness is extremely common, but she's had an extremely severe form that required
intravel now fluids and, hopefully, as her pregnancy progresses, the morning sickness will improve. jenna: anything as a doctor you'd be concerned about now? >> well, obviously, we worry about dehydration, but usually the baby's absolutely fine, so if the fluids are replaced, hopefully as that passes, all will be well. jenna: that's the important part. we're all wishing the best for her and william. you shared with me a very interesting british royal trivia for us. your name, phil pa, the nickname for that is what? >> the nickname is pippa, so i share my name with pippa middleton who, obviously, is kate's sister. jenna: i think we've all heard pippa, but i appreciate you sharing that with us. we were chatting earlier, and i noticed you're a little hoarse. one of the stories we want to talk about today is these winter colds that are coming on. you can misdiagnose them, you know, as yourself, misdiagnose what a cold can be as an
allergy. >> that's right. jenna: how do we know the difference between a winter allergy and a winter cold? >> well, they can share symptoms in common, to runny nose, watering eyes, stuffy nose you can get with pote. but if you have a common cold, often you have a sore throat, aching in the muscles. with an allergy you up have itchy eyes, you may have a skin rash particularly if you're asthmatic, you may have a little bit of shortness of of breath and wheeze siness. jenna: so just if your sneezing and not feeling great, is there any way to check that before you just pop a, you know, a cold advil or something like that? well, if you have a common cold, you want to avoid antibiotics because usually that's not the way to treat a common cold. you want to take some tylenol if you've got achy type symptoms, rest up, drink plenty of fluids. if you have allergy, people normally may be more prone to allergies in the winter.
christmas trees can trigger allergies, a lot of the sprays they use for preservatives, this artificial snow can irritate the lining of the airways, so you may benefit more from taking an antihistaminement. jenna: i'm sure a lot of people will anticipate different things, so they might be taking drugs that may not help us. just another question for you, we did this segment about this ultra marathoner, seven marathons, seven days, seven continue innocents, and it's ig minuted a big debate about whether or not that type of exercise is a good thing or maybe not so good for your health. what do you think, doc? >> well, it seems very topical. there's been a lot of reports recently, very provooktive, suggesting that if you run mare marathons, there may be some cardiovascular risks there. and those studies came from small studies that showed that people who do very extreme sports, multiple marathons, they may get some scarring in the heart. but for the average person who
does daily, regular exercise you can actually increase your life expectancy by seven years. so keep regular exercise every day up to 60 minutes. that's the key. jenna: so jon's been giving me a hard time for this marathon that i reason. i'm trying to get him to run one with me. so you don't see anything detrimental to jon scott's health if he joined me in one of these races? >> chemicals get released from the muscles when you do a lot of exercise and extreme amounts on running, you can get chemicals released into the bloodstream, these can cause inflammation, in very small cases scarring of the heart -- jenna: and that's dangerous. >> but these studies have shown in people who do one or two marathons, these changes are usually reversed. so running marathons is probably good for your health as long as you're not doing hundreds of them. jenna: thank you very much, doc. jon: can i roller blade a marathon?
jenna: what about roller blading? >> well, i don't know what's in the medical literature, but come back to me next year. [laughter] jenna: we'll do more research on roller blading of all things. jon: it's just the cartilage that i don't have anymore that gives me a little bit of a problem there. [laughter] jenna: doctor, thank you very much. >> thank you. it's a pleasure. jenna: jon? jon: here's a bit of good news. the jobs market shows a slight sign of improvement. new claims for unemployment benefits falling by 25,000 last week to about 370,000. the decrease follows a temporary spike caused by superstorm sandy. the current level consistent with mod hiring in this country. modest hiring in this country. time now for our spotlight on small businesses. we find business owners and entrepreneurs who have found a way to thrive in this very tough economy. we're joined today by rebecca smith, president of rebecca ray designs and the very special aspect of her company, all the products are made right here in the usa.
>> they are. jon: so i found your story sofas mating because you didn't start out to be a product designer. that's not your training, right? >> no. i have a background in education. jon: and your husband has a degree in economics -- >> he does. jon: and when, when you went to him and said that you wanted to, what, expand the line? >> yeah. he said to me, you can't keep doing this yourself. so we decided to really in earnest make an attempt to make this become a company, and we've been very successful with it, and it's been a ton of fun. jon: again, i just find it so fascinating because you took aspects of things you're interested in, for instance, equestrian events, and decided that that might be kind of an interesting business. >> it is. it's a niche that we found in the market, and we felt that there was a need out there for the american-made products that was being bench made and made by hand with lots of integrity in a
very authentic brand. and we did find that the niche we suspected was out there is, indeed, there, and our clients are very loyal to us. jon: and your workers are primarily amish, is that correct? >> they are. we've been able to give jobs to quite a few women in our local community as well as in eastern pennsylvania. um, our gentlemen who make all of our leather products are hashness makers. so when they're not making rebecca ray designs, they're making harness for horses. jon: so especially the women, they're able to stay home, care for their children as is traditional in the amish community, but also do some work and earn a good living on the side. >> they are. and we, we love to be able to do that for them. they've been with us a long taoism, and it's important to them to stay home with their children as it's important to us. um, we're all women entrepreneurs in this business, and we are juggling households and families and children, and we all understand what it takes to be able to do that.
and as you know, it's not simple. and we're really enjoying doing that. jon: it's also not simple to make a business succeed in an economy like this. how are you finding conditions out there? >> well, you know, the conditions for us have been great. we were able to start a business at a time when innovation was very low, so we were fresh and new on the scene. we've been very grassroots, working it through social media. we have a wonderful blog, we have a great web site. and our clients are choosing to select made in america products as i'm sure your viewers are as well. it's important to them. jon: i'm sure our viewers are going to be checking out your web site. rebecca, it's good to have you on. thank you. >> thanks so much. jenna: well, this is the scene in one city as recreational pot became officially legal today. >> three, two, one! >> ever since i've lived here, and i've lived here for 21 years, and if you look at everybody around here, i have never seen so many happy people
in seattle in one city as this. jenna: well, there's that. and then there's this. what about spoke smoking pot and getting behind the wheel? how do you test whether a driver is simply too high to drive? police have a big issue on their hands. we have a live report next. and we can save you 10% on ground shipping over the ups store. look this isn't my first christmas. these deals all seem great at the time... but later... [ shirt ] merry christmas, everybody! not so much. ho ho ho! this isn't that kind of deal. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. save on ground shipping at fedex office. hi, i'm ensure clear... clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've gotine grams of protein.
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jon: who says there's nothing new under the sun? there are some incredible new images from outer space looking down at planet earth giving us a brand new perspective on things. rick took those photos, and he is here to bring them to us. [laughter] >> reporter: i wish i had a camera that could take pictures like this, because they're very
cool, jon. remarkable images of earth at night revealing a planet that is really never in the dark. nasa releasing these pictures that were taken not by me, but by a special satellite called sumy npp. we're about to show you the united states, you can see it coming into frame, and you can see how the lights illuminating from the ground look a lot like the stars and the constellations we see when we look up at night. and here's a bird's eye view of egypt's nile river lit up by boats. yes, those are lights from boats. the reason these images are possible is because of a new sensor that is onboard the camera which stands for the national polar orbiting partnership. it was launched last year. it gives scientists -- and us -- a brand new way to observe what our planet looks like once the sun goes down. what do you think of that, jon? jon: that's cool. and atlanta really stands out in the shot of the sort of, you know, eastern seaboard. i don't know, it's kind of
interesting. i was surprised that atlanta is so big and bright. >> reporter: atlanta and, of course, the northeast. and you can see there that sort of corridor up in new york and philly and boston. and then there's a lot of darkness out west until you get out to california. jon: yeah. having driven that span from denver to california many times, i can see why. [laughter] rick, thanks very much. jenna: well, right now some folks are celebrating out west, and today is the first day you can legally smoke pot in washington state. but how will law enforcement determine if people are too high to drive? those satellite images probably are not going to be useful in this sort of situation. william la jeunesse is live in los angeles with more. william? >> reporter: well, jenna, 33% of those killed in auto accidents have some drug other than alcohol in their system, so the fear was legalizing pot would only make that worse. pot advocates say smokers know when they're too high to drive. well, washington state taking no chances, imposing a strict limit on the amount of pot drivers can
have in their system. >> do you want to know why i pulled you over? littering and smoking the reefer. >> reporter: driving while high. more drivers are toking up. yet studies like this one in europe show too much marijuana affects coordination and judgment. >> one of the first and most important being a reduced ability to divide one's attention. >> reporter: advocates argue pot is far less debilitating than alcohol, yet a new canadian study says those who drive within three hours of smoking pot are twice as likely to cause a crash. >> another one of the effects we see with individuals who drive under the influence of marijuana is reduced ability to perceive time and distance. >> reporter: but how much is too much? >> i don't absolutely feel that we are in unchartered territory. i know that we are for a fact in unchartered territory. >> reporter: in washington state where marijuana is now legal, the limit is five nanograms per blood sample, an
impairment level some argue is roughly equal to alcohol. >> because we're still early on in the research stage, it's very difficult to return whether or not that standard will change. similar to how the dui standards have evolved over the years. >> reporter: problem is, heavy users -- though not impaired -- can test positive weeks after smoking. also what you smoke and how you smoke it affects people differently. so even experts don't know how much pot causes impairment. >> for anyone to be able to say that two hits or two dosages would get me five nanograms, it nearly is impossible the make that determination. >> reporter: so thc is the compound in pot that makes you high, thc is stored in fat. so a heavy user could test positive weeks after smoking which is why colorado defeated the five nanogram standard. bottom line, jenna, this is probably going to be challenged. pot people say it should be 5-10 nanograms, but remember at alcohol we started at.15 and came down, it's possible pot will go up.
the research right now with pot is really almost nonexistent in this country, so that will be developed and argued. and litigated. jenna: and litigated. and reported. [laughter] william, thank you very much. we'll continue to watch it. jon: of course, pot users are famous for getting a case of the munchies, things like pizza. how much do you love pizza? enough to want to smell like one? here's your chance. we'll explain. plus, a controversial bear hunt underway now. what wildlife officials are saying is different about this year's hunt. >> this is what we've done for years. the family's part of it, and when he becomes a teenager, he'll be out there hunting with us if he wants to. >> feeding the bears so that the numbers will go up. i don't believe the numbers are as high as they say, and it's because they want a large amount of bears to kill. that's what this is all about. they're not looking out for our safety, they want to trophy hunt.
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jon: right nowtous of hunters are out gunning for black bears in new jersey. the six-day season got underway on monday, part of a program to manage the state's growing bear population. rick leventhal live in newton, new jersey. i guess the number of bears killed is actually down this year, rick? >> reporter: yeah, a very quiet day so far at this check station, jon, and reflects the sharp dropoff in the kill total. we're in the third year of a five-year black bear management program in new jersey designed to reduce the number of bears and reduce the number of bear/human interactions. after three days last year, 311 bears were killed, this year just 193 killed. some say this recent warm weather may have played a factor because the bears have already gorged themselves on food and aren't out looking for more, but critics say it's evidence that this is about trophies and not about public safety. >> i've lived in the bear country for over ten years, and
i've never had any issues with black bears. >> but other people have. >> there has never been an incident, a serious incident in the state of new jersey with a black bear. not in its history. >> reporter: well, one reason for the fewer bears being killed, jon, could also be there were fewer permits issued. last year there were overred ,000 permits issues, this year just about 6500. jon: so how big a problem are bears? i mean, a tough question to answer, but -- >> reporter: it is. and as you heard, some people say it's not a problem, but the state believes it is and this program is helping to make things safer for residents. they say the population was about 3400 back in 2010, and now they say it's somewhere between 2800 and 3000, and nuisance complaints are down, but the state wants people to know they think there's still a concern for safety. >> we have bears that break into houses, that kill livestock,
they kill family pets. so the population is sort of stretched, they're moving into more populated areas and creating problems, and we need to control that. >> reporter: the department of fish and wildlife has actually compiled some safety tips to bear-proof homes including close your windows while cooking, don't leave groceries in the car, install a motion sensor in the yard, never dump grill grease in the yard and use bear- resistant garbage cans. as soon as bear hunters get one bear, they're done. jon: rick leventhal, thank you. jenna: well, he's known for having a unique style in the senate, but dancing? former senator alan simpson goes "gangnam style" for a serious cause. we'll try to explain this, next. [laughter] >> the lasso again, and then the horse ride.
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author and co-chair of the president's debt commission, but you know what else alan simpson can do, jenna? he can dance, "gangnam style," at 81 years old. >> stop ins gramming your breakfast and tweeting your first world problems and getting on youtube so you can see "gangnam style". ♪ jon: part of an ad simpson cut urging young people to get involved in politics in this country, especially the debate over the national debt. he says if the younger generation ignores the problem, they end up paying for the mistakes of the older generation. jenna: there's a web site you can go to to actually check that out. it's the can kicks, i believe, something along those lines if you want to look into some of alan simpson's additional advice. i liked his one about instagraming and tweeting your first world problems.